The Evolution of Valentine’s Day

I was thinking the other day about all the different Valentine’s Days I’ve had through the years.

So many different places in life, so many different feelings over the past few decades.

You start out as a kid, writing out your Valentines for the little bags or boxes on everyone’s desks. Boys, girls, didn’t matter who got what – you just signed your name and that was that.

Then, you start caring who got what card. Was Jon going to get the card that said, “Be Mine” ??? Nervous and giggly, you hand them out that year and hope he smiles when he reads your card.

Then comes the years in high school, when Valentine’s Day was either super romantic – and by romantic, I mean, you come out of your all-girl high school to see that your boyfriend, on his way home from the all-boy high school, left you some roses on your windshield, along with a mushy card. Maybe – if you guys are SUPER serious – a mixed tape with all “your” songs on it. You get the butterflies and life couldn’t be better.

Either that, or you and your single girlfriends have a slumber party, bashing love, watching romantic comedies (oh the irony!), bake a cake, eating the entire thing with just a bunch of forks. You don’t even care about plates.

Fast forward some years, and you meet him. You guys are solid, you have the most romantic Valentine’s Days together, either going out to a fancy shmancy dinner, all dressed up, or you decide to stay in and make Lobster Thermidor, and chocolate concoctions that have ooey gooey centers and strawberries that look like tuxedos. You sip champagne and think how you hit the freaking jackpot.

You get married.

The first few Valentine’s Days are the same. Romance, cooking, ah, love.

Fast forward three years and you are the exhausted parents of an infant.

Your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day consists of putting her to bed, and ordering carryout. You eat said carryout while on the couch…in your pajamas. *Probably* the same ones you wore last night, but no judging.

You light some candles while you watch reruns of Seinfeld, because, I mean, hey, it is Valentine’s Day, after all.

If he utters the words, “I’ll get up with the baby for her midnight feeding,” he’s soooooo getting lucky.

That’s what your romance has boiled down to these days.

You have a couple more kids in a couple more years, and as they grow, Valentine’s Day has started including them. They get all excited to decorate the table and the house. You become your mother, and start the traditions of putting out cards and boxes of chocolates at every place setting, and little gifts to open after dessert. You make heart shaped individual meatloaves for dinner, and they help you decorate cupcakes with god-awful pink and red sprinkles all over the place, but they’re having a blast and your heart is full.

You and your first Valentine decide to go out to dinner next weekend, or maybe the next to celebrate the day.

Suddenly you’ve blinked, and you’re no longer in your newborn-induced sleep haze anymore. You’re now at a place where your kids sleep in a bit, and first thing in the morning, your husband hands you the sweetest card and an itty bitty box. You’re confused (in a very good way) because Valentine’s Day isn’t usually a big gift giving day for you guys anymore.

You open it up and see three skinny silver rings, with each of your kids’ names on them.

The Evolution of Valentine's Day

You look at the table, and see beautiful pink and red tulips there, and immediately you love him even more because he knows you don’t like getting red roses on Valentine’s Day. You’d much rather have tulips.

the evolution of valentine's day

But he still gets you one red, single rose because it is Valentine’s Day, after all.

He’s adorable.

The kids are up now, running around the kitchen. You’re on coffee cup #2 (or maybe #3?), passing out heart shaped pancakes to all.

the evolution of valentine's day

You look across the room at your husband, reading the paper. The one who you’ve been through it all with, and continues to surprise you.

You look at your hands – the right one with your new rings on it of your babies’ names, and your wedding rings on the left, and you think…

Lobster, shmobster.

Bring on the meatloaf.

THIS is hitting the freaking jackpot.




  1. My husband and I pretty much had this exact conversation last night. And we agreed with your conclusion. This is the jackpot. The trick is remembering it.

  2. Same here, life is precious

  3. So so true!!! Wonderful post!!

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